Project Heart is our philanthropy education program designed for 4th-12th grade students. Building off of the belief that anyone can be a philanthropist, Project Heart helps students identify their passions and talents and how to apply them to a need or cause that they see in their communities and world.

Project Heart works by teaching students to look inside themselves to discover their passions and 3Ts - time, talent and treasure - and unleash their uniqueness to ignite change and make a difference. Students create their personal missions to help them identify needs or problems in their communities and the world that they can address and solve. Educators have access to complementary resources and a supportive community they can leverage to meet the needs of their diverse groups of students.

We have a whole website full of ideas to support teaching K-12 students how to do philanthropy! Start by exploring our Resources and try out Project Heart with your kids today. Whether you’re looking for a trade book, need to teach your littles how to say the word philanthropy or want your older kids to complete their own impact project, you can find it here. Want to go deeper? Simply register here and get access to the entire Project Heart suite of resources and materials - FREE!

Today's social climate is transforming the way young people see their place in the world. Rather than be in a sit-and-get environment, students are yearning for the opportunity to be a part of a solution to problems that they are seeing in the homes, schools, communities and the world. Educators like you have a unique opportunity to help students harness their desire to create change by encouraging them to channel their passions into real-world solutions through hands-on projects that help students develop their voice while teaching them that they are valuable and powerful people. Teaching students philanthropy is more than just teaching them to give - philanthropy provides students with the opportunity to own their education by spearheading impact projects with their peers that have tangible impact. Students gain valuable work and life skills such as collaboration, grit, problem-solving and more that will help prepare them for careers and instill the value of being a change-maker for the rest of their lives.

Absolutely! Whether you’re running after school programs, summer enrichment, high school clubs, Sunday school or just about any other impactful programming, Project Heart has something for you and your K-12 kids. All educators who know the importance of “soft skills”, teaching a growth mindset and working to cultivate an empathy advantage need tools like Project Heart!

Project Heart is available globally, anywhere you have an internet connection and a desire to inspire kids to be change-makers who make a difference in their communities and world.

One of the really great things about Project Heart is the flexibility in which you present the material to your students. There is no expectation of a minimum or maximum number of lessons that you should present. If you choose to implement each lesson in its entirety - that's great! If you have an existing philanthropy/leadership curriculum that you use and you plan to use parts and pieces of Project Heart to amplify what you're already doing - that's great too!

No! You can expect the first half of the lessons to be foundational philanthropy lessons and the second half to be lessons that will help your students plan and execute a successful service project. Though following the lessons in numerical order works great, the way in which you choose to move from one lesson to the next is completely up to you!

Though the lessons you implement are completely up to the needs of you and your students, we have heard feedback about a few lessons that were most impactful and set students up for the most success before planning their service projects:

  • Elementary
    • Lesson 1 - Philanthropy: What is it?
    • Lesson 4 - Personal Passions
    • Lesson 5 - Writing a Mission Statement
  • Middle
    • Lessons 1 - What Does Philanthropy Mean in Your Life?
    • Lesson 2 - How can YOU Make a Difference with Your 3Ts?
    • Lesson 3 - Which Personal Passions Drive Your Mission?
  • High
    • Lesson 1 - Philanthropy in Your Life
    • Lesson 3 - 3Ts Improve Your Vision
    • Lesson 5 - Personal Passions and Career Goals
    • Lesson 6 - Philanthropic End Goals

  • Elementary - We have created a book list that you are welcome to utilize as needed. Feel free to add in a book and some discussion questions afterwards! You can find our full book list HERE.
  • MS/HS - In addition to the 10 lessons provided with the Project Heart program, we also have 90 microlearnings available to you as well that you're welcome to utilize in whatever way makes the most sense for your classroom. Our microlearnings consist of quotes, discussion topics, writing prompts and more that can be used as a starter for a Project Heart lesson, or as a standalone activity!

We've put together a list of past project ideas (including the grade that planned each project), as well as a list of nonprofit profiles to help spark inspiration! Though we can't include every nonprofit from every community, our hope is that a few organizations you see listed might help you think of a few in your area. You can find this resource HERE.

Yes! Our Illumination Fund was created specifically to support student-led projects that arise from the implementation of Project Heart. We offer two types of Illumination Funds:

  • Materials grant: A grant that will support up to $500 to purchase supplies for a service project
  • Matching grant: The OtterCares Foundation will match up to $500 raised by a student-led fundraiser to benefit a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Learn more about the Illumination Fund and how you can apply HERE.